“When once a man is launched on such an adventure as this, he must bid farewell to hopes and fears, otherwise death or deliverance will both come too late to save his honor and his reason.” – C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair
… this life is such an adventure.
Our hopes and fears are almost always based on a hypothetical future state. They exist in us because we speculate about what will be. They have a way of holding us in a passive position while we wait for their consummation in an imaginary death or deliverance… the kind of death or deliverance that arrives at your door. These may come late or they may not come at all, either way you’ll be waiting.
An important point that is easy to forget… this adventure is about your heart. It’s not the possibility of a future state that hangs in the balance, it’s the possibility of a future person. Death and deliverance don’t show up at your door. They come about inside of you… on the battlefield of your heart. So you see, if you sit with your hope or fear and wait for it to play out, you will lose your mind and possibly your honor, but you will definitely lose your heart. Deliverance and death hang on a decision that only you can make, and a decision is all it takes. You are the reason for hope and it is substance the moment you choose deliverance. The choice to lay hold of it is made by faith which is the substance of things hoped for. You are not a spectator here. Choose life… so that there might be life!
Do you feel that… that tension… as you try with all of your might to make your life fit into that little box you’ve been crouching in for all these years? Your world view is nice and tidy. You’ve finally gotten most of it worked out in your head and you’ve managed to stick fairly close to it. But it doesn’t fit. It won’t fit. Something in you knows that it could blow apart at any minute… the box, your life, all of it… and then what. Would that be the end of you?
You’ve got to let it out. I don’t know how, but you must find a way. God is big enough to deal with what happens next.
The experiences leading up to your glorious end, should you be so privileged, will all appear to have been aligned and building toward it. The experiences leading to your demise, if you are counted among the many, will all appear to have been pointing in that direction. So, greatness or destitution; it is a choice that you will make, and in the end it will seem to everyone else as if it were your destiny.
“Don’t know where we’re coming from or where we’re going to. Can I go all the way with you? ” – John Prine
Sexual undertones notwithstanding…
This is what life is all about, going all the way, with other people and with God. That is the whole question in life, will you go all the way. Will you go all the way with some of the people around you and will you go all the way with God? That is the question that you have to answer with your life.
Despite the ambiguity about our origins, despite the uncertainty about how this thing will end, despite the risks… will you go all the way? That’s the question. We stand there and ask permission. We stand there and wonder if we’re capable. But all it really takes is a choice, and the choice is yours.